Still confused about CBD? You’re not alone! Over the last few years, the industry has boomed and now you can find CBD in pretty much anything from a latte at your favourite café to your beauty products. We asked you for all your CBD questions (which there were many!) so we could rope in the experts to help you understand how CBD could help your wellbeing. The people at Just Botanicals are passionate about educating people on the health benefits of CBD and care deeply about helping customers take their wellbeing to the next level. We all deserve to feel our best selves and they’ve got so much to say about how you can utilise CBD to your advantage, whether that’s for your mental health or managing pain. Below we’re delving into period pain, anxiety, IBS, what to look for if you’re a CBD beginner and how regulations are changing.
“Does CBD help with period pain and if so, is it better to use topically or orally?”
Although it may seem like you’ve already tried EVERYTHING to ease that internal thunderstorm that arrives every month, you might just be in luck here. There aren’t any published studies currently, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest women all over the world are finding relief from period pains by using CBD. As with everything CBD related, what works for one person may not work for another so it really is a matter of finding what is right for you. Taking CBD orally isn’t like popping paracetamol, you have to remain consistent with your CBD routine in the long term to really feel a difference.
You’re absolutely right to be thinking about the different applications because there are far more CBD options out there than just the oral variety. As we know CBD is known for its anti inflammatory properties, so in the run-up to your period a CBD bath bomb is the perfect solution for a soothing soak.
You can also try massaging CBD oils, topical creams and gels onto your lower abdomen/back, as well as trying topical patches that offer a slow release transdermal CBD over several hours.
Just Botanicals isn’t simply an off the shelf brand, we pride ourselves on making bespoke products according to an individual’s need, and in recent years we have had A LOT of requests for suppositories. Since the pelvic region contains a high concentration of cannabinoid receptors, this method can be super effective for targeted pain relief.
“Are gummies a good way to take CBD? There seem to be so many to choose from…“
If you’re looking to try CBD in any form it’s highly likely that your overall health and wellbeing is important to you. So whilst CBD gummies are a fun alternative to traditional oils & capsules, there are definitely some important things to consider when choosing your brand. One of the main deciding factors should be the sugar content. More and more studies are suggesting that refined and added sugars could have a direct link to all kinds of unwanted health issues, ranging from inflammation to high blood pressure and even adult acne, to name but a few. In many cases, this may be counterproductive to the very reason you are considering CBD in the first place. Look for products that contain only natural sugars, flavours and preservatives.
“Can CBD help with IBS?“
Short answer? YES! Without getting too deep into the science side of things, the digestive system contains a high concentration of CB2 receptors. These are a crucial part of our Endocannabinoid System and are involved with regulating pain and inflammation, as well as various other functions. Endocannabinoids – that is cannabinoids that are produced naturally by our own bodies – stimulate our receptors to maintain a balanced state of homeostasis. Experts believe that low levels or a deficiency of these endocannabinoids can contribute to the development of conditions such as IBS and Fibromyalgia.
So where does CBD come in to this? Well, aside from the cannabinoids that our bodies naturally produce there are plant derived cannabinoids that can also stimulate our receptors. CBD is just one example of them. Studies suggest that supplementing your diet with CBD may be beneficial in regulating your gut, reducing chronic pain and inflammation.
Now to the people. Experience speaks volumes, so we reached out to some of our IBS customers to get their input. The general consensus was that CBD has helped regulate bowel movements, reduce pain, stomach cramps, and anxiety which can be an underlying cause of, and is often associated with IBS.
“I suffer from Fibromyalgia, could CBD help ease the pain I experience with this condition and potentially enable me to reduce my medication?“
Whilst fibromyalgia can often present itself differently for each individual, we reached out to a few of our fibro customers to see how CBD has helped them. Common answers included that CBD in its various forms has helped reduce chronic pain; improved overall sleep quality; reduced stiffness and inflammation; helped manage the symptoms of anxiety and depression; and provided an improved feeling of general well-being. A combination of both oral and topical applications has seen the best results, with many of our customers opting for our ‘Gel Off’ roll-on gel as an ‘on the go’ topical solution to aid muscle and joint-related aches and pains.
Whilst many people have successfully incorporated CBD into their pain management routine, you should always consult with your doctor or healthcare specialist before taking anything new or reducing any prescription medication.
“I struggle with anxiety and have been thinking about trying CBD. How does it work?“
Anxiety is something we are very personally familiar with at Just Botanicals, but first, let’s delve into the science.
As we touched on above, the endocannabinoid system is made up of cannabinoid receptors that help regulate and balance every day functions. CB1 receptors are predominantly found in the nervous system and can be found in serval areas of the brain. These receptors are known to be at least partially responsible for governing memory, mood, appetite, decision making and various other functions. We know that it is the interaction between CBD and this particular receptor type that helps anxiety, and researchers currently believe that it is due to its effect on our levels of serotonin (aka the ‘Happy Hormone’), but as yet it’s not abundantly clear how. As more research is conducted in this area we hope to shed more light on the intricate details of exactly how this process works.
We have a lot of customers who use CBD to successfully combat symptoms of anxiety; our founder can also personally testify to it’s therapeutic properties in reducing that ‘bees nest in your chest’ type feeling. It is worth noting that whilst some people notice an immediate difference, for others it takes a little time to work its magic. Stick with it, its worth it.
If you are on any other medication you should definitely have a chat with your doctor before introducing CBD into your daily routine.
“I really want to try CBD but have heard it can affect the liver. Is there any truth in this?“
Great question! There is one main area of discussion concerning the liver and CBD, and whether it affects you largely depends on whether you are receiving certain medical treatments eg. Chemotherapy, or taking certain medications.
Cytochrome 450 is a group of liver enzymes that is responsible for metabolising 60-80% of the medications we consume. It is also responsible for metabolising CBD, and when doing so it temporarily prevents the same group of enzymes from metabolising other compounds; therefore temporarily changing the way we metabolise certain medications.
However, never fear! Having a potential drug interaction does not rule out the possibility of using CBD. Several studies show that doses below a certain level do not cause any interaction (approx 50mg), as does leaving a sufficient gap between taking the two substances (approx 2 hours), and many doctors actually encourage you to use CBD alongside your regular regime. This is why it’s crucial to conduct your own research (there are many drug interaction calculators online), talk to a CBD expert, and consult with your doctor.
“I’ve heard new regulations are coming in – what does this mean and why is it happening?“
You are absolutely right, there are new regulations and it’s important that we educate consumers on exactly what this means. CBD is now a ‘Novel Food’, which simply means it is a food that was not commonly consumed before 1997. The Food Standards Agency are now responsible for regulating food products containing CBD. This means that there are tighter restrictions on consumable products which will hopefully lead to a cleaner market. In order to become regulated a product has to undergo various stringent testing methods meaning customers can now be absolutely certain of what they’re paying for.
These regulations do not apply to topical or cosmetic products since these are definitely not to be eaten.
“I’m not sleeping well at the moment, can CBD help? When is a good time to take it for the best results?“
You’re not alone, in fact, almost 40% of us have trouble falling to sleep, staying asleep or experience poor sleep quality. In fact, sleep-related problems are one of the main enquiries we get.
Amongst other things, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, chronic pain and even drinking too much caffeine can negatively contribute to sleep issues. So step one in devising your plan to improve this area of your life should be finding the root cause of what is preventing you from getting those all important Zzzz’s.
We know the therapeutic properties of CBD can have a positive impact on reducing pain and inflammation, as well as helping with symptoms related to anxiety, PTSD and other mental health issues. So it makes sense to say that by using CBD to help tackle these primary issues you may inadvertently have also improved your chances of getting a decent nights kip.
When we asked our customers about whether CBD improved their sleep quality the feedback was extremely positive, but there was quite a variation on when people take their nightly dose. We suggest starting with an hour before bed and then tweaking as necessary to find what works for you. We also got a lot of feedback regarding non-consumable CBD products that also help you wind down and get ready for a good nights sleep. These include CBD bath bombs, pillow sprays, roll-on oils, and a bespoke magnesium and CBD body butter we designed for one of our repeat customers.
“I have never tried CBD so was wondering how to start and what dosage would be good for beginners? Is it possible to take too much CBD?”
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, CBD is not a one size fits all solution, in fact, our ideal dosage – or sweet spot – may take a little while to find as it is just as unique as we are.
CBD is extremely safe even in high doses and since you can’t get any psychoactive or intoxicating effect from it, you don’t have to worry about taking too much. However, in some cases, a lower dose may be more effective when trying to achieve certain results. So as is echoed throughout the CBD industry, starting low and gradually increasing your dose until you reach your optimum dosage is definitely the common sense approach.
As with all kinds of food supplements and medications alike, the milligram of CBD per drop or capsule will vary according to strength and brand, and finding what works for you may involve a little bit of trial and error. If at first you don’t succeed, get in touch with us and we’d be more than happy to help you on your journey to improved wellness with CBD.
“How do I navigate brand choice and what should I look out for?“
Honesty, integrity and transparency. There has been a tsunami of CBD brands popping up all over the place recently, and although the recent introduction of regulations will hopefully put a stop to low-quality products on the market, there are a few other areas on which you should never compromise.
Although it can be tricky for brands to openly market the therapeutic benefits of their CBD products without breaching ‘medical claims’ guidelines, there should be no ambiguity on exactly what the product contains. All brands should clearly indicate exactly how much CBD their product contains and have a third party certificate of analysis to back this up.
We believe that brands selling wellness products should be built on both knowledge and passion. Those that are will genuinely want to share their expertise and help you on your journey. If you come across a brand that isn’t easily approached via their website or social media platforms, stay well clear.
*Disclaimer – Just Botanicals are experts in all things CBD & we love nothing more than helping people on their journey to wellness. But the information & knowledge we share is no substitute for medical advice. We encourage everyone to talk to their doctor or other healthcare provider before adding any health supplement or alternative herbal remedy to their regular regime.
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